National Heritage Week

Heritage Week 2018 starts on Saturday 18 August. During Heritage Week, a wide variety of events take place all around Ireland. Many of the events are free.

The programme highlights the work that is carried out in communities to preserve and promote Ireland’s natural, built and cultural heritage.

Find out more about Heritage Week.

Leaving Certificate results – good luck!

Leaving Certificate results are available in schools today – Wednesday, 15 August 2018.

You can also access your results online from 12 noon today, using a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and your examination number. Your PIN will be made available through your school (or directly to external candidates).

The National Parents’ Council  operates a Leaving Cert Exam Helpline to give advice and support to students and parents. The helpline is staffed by qualified guidance counsellors and the number is 1800 265 165.

If you aren’t happy with your marks in any subject, you have the option of appealing your results.

Springboard+ courses at third level

Springboard+ offers courses at certificate, degree and masters level. It aims to offer qualifications in areas where there are job opportunities – such as ICT, construction, hospitality, business start-up and financial services.

Courses are generally part-time and last for one year or less, but there is an increasing number of full-time courses.

Springboard+ courses are free of charge for people who are unemployed. You can also apply if you are working, but you must pay a 10% contribution towards the fee for higher level courses.

Read more about Springboard+ and the eligibility criteria. 

Know Your Rights: Help with school costs

Question

My four-year-old son is starting primary school in September. My only income is my One-Parent Family Payment and €120 from a part-time job. I don’t get any maintenance and I’m worried about the extra costs involved in sending my son to school. What help can I get?

Answer (July 2018)

As you are getting a social welfare payment, you may be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) which can help with back-to-school expenses. Your weekly income must be below a certain level.

You are currently getting a One-Parent Family Payment of €229.80 (including a child payment) and earning €120. Your weekly income of €349.80 is below the income limit of €425.10 for a lone parent with one child so you qualify for BSCFA. In 2018, the payment is €125 for a qualified child aged 4–11.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection pays BSCFA automatically in many cases. If you haven’t received a letter from the Department by mid-July, you need to apply by 30 September 2018.

Application forms are available on welfare.ie, or from your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You can also request a form by texting ‘Form BTSCFA’ followed by your name and address to 51909 or by emailing the Department at BSCFA@welfare.ie.

The Department of Education and Skills runs a School Books Grant Scheme which is available to State-funded schools to help with the cost of school books. Some schools run a Textbook Rental Scheme or can help with the cost of buying textbooks. You should contact the principal of your son’s school to find out if any of these options are available.

Appealing your Leaving Cert results

The results of the 2018 Leaving Certificate will be released on Wednesday 15 August 2018.

If you are unhappy with your result in any subject(s), you can apply online for an appeal form and pay the required fee. Generally it costs €40 per subject appealed (or €15.50 if you sat the Leaving Cert Applied). The online service will be available from 20 August 2018 on examinations.ie.

You will need to return the completed appeal form to your school by 3 September 2018.

Your script will then be sent to an appeal examiner to be re-marked. If your result is upgraded, you will get the appeal fee back.

Find out more about appealing your results.

Collecting your welfare payments – August bank holiday arrangements 2018

Monday 6 August is a bank holiday. The offices of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and all post offices will be closed on this date.

Jobseekers who are due to sign at their local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office on Monday 6 August will not have to do so. Normal signing arrangements will apply for the rest of the week.

Read about alternative payment arrangements on welfare.ie.

HSE Injury Units

If you have an injury that is unlikely to require admission to hospital, you can go to a HSE Injury Unit for treatment.

These units treat injuries like broken bones, sprains, wounds, scalds and minor burns. Staff can perform x-rays, reduce joint dislocations, apply plaster casts and treat wounds by stitches or other means.

Injury Units don’t treat children aged under 5, and some units have higher age limits.

You can go to an Injury Unit directly or be referred by a GP. It’s free if you are referred or if you have a medical card. Otherwise it costs €100.

Find Injury Unit locations and see a list of what they may treat on HSE.ie.